Interpreting the transcript: problems in recording Aboriginal land claim proceedings in northern Australia
AbstractThis paper considers the processes that go into the production of a transcript of legal proceedings and the consequences of inaccuracies in the transcript. The issues are illustrated by a land rights case involving Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory of Australia in which additional problems are encountered because of cultural distance and the mismatch between different forms of English. The problems range from relatively simple phonetic misunderstandings to the more difficult misapprehensions which arise because of the profoundly different cultural backgrounds of the participants. Examples from transcript show how the participants in the hearing can contribute to 'transcriptional repair'. In this and other ways the participants are interpreting for the transcript.
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